So it’s been a while, but I’ve been busy! I started working with a new client on a mural – a jungle scene in his bathroom. Here are the first round of photos – still plenty of work to be done…
This was somewhat challenging as jungles are all about depth and layers, which is hard to portray on a flat surface…especially in a bathroom with varying heights and widths to the walls. But I enjoyed myself and I look forward to continuing to build and expand this vision! It’s also very nerve wracking as I paint things I’ve never attempted before – like tigers and parrots. But if you don’t explore, you’ll never discover, right?
One time, instead of getting ready for school (8th grade, I think), I locked myself in the bathroom and tried to kill myself. I laid at the bottom of the bathtub as it filled up, not resolved but terrified. I don’t think I was scared of dying, I was scared of myself…that I could have that much hate and anger in me, to take a life. I’ve thought of suicide before and after this episode, but this was the only time I ever actually attempted it. Thankfully I screamed my intentions to my dad, who was furious and broke down the door. Strangely, I don’t remember what happened next.
This is the problem I have with writing a memoir, or any story. I have gaps in my knowledge of the events. I think it has something to do with the bipolar, but it’s very inconvenient.
I don’t know why I’m thinking about this today. Probably because I’m still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong in my novel writing last night.
Here I am, in the aching place that hypomania left behind. This one was so brief, but blazed hard and burnt me up last night. I had to take an impromptu two hour nap just to recover, and today I still don’t feel quite right. I miss having the inspiration, the excitement. Now all I have is longing. I look at my writing notes and wonder if I will ever be able to write this fucking novel. Maybe it’s just not in me. Maybe it will only happen in the short moments of manic glory.
I thought that medication would make me perfect. That the pills would carve out all the doubt and self-loathing and replace it with confidence and commitment to the things I want for myself. Today I feel like all it’s done is made it hard to cry, and instead of big episodes that sweep through the household like a windstorm, I have just these little earthquake tremors. And that must be life.
I journaled last night. Just a page or so of whining. I don’t think it helped anything but I didn’t feel like I could draw or paint and I certainly wasn’t able to write with my heart broken up over yet another failed novel attempt. And what do you do when nothing is possible? When nothing helps?
Perhaps I need to go back to reading about my condition, studying the exercises that are supposed to give clarity. I could take my doctor’s advice and run around in the sunlight for a while, but lazing about and eating sounds much more appealing…
Here’s what became of that little WIP. I don’t have a whole lot of reasoning behind the color choices, except that I wanted the figure to be very ghostly and pale. She came out blue, but that’s okay. I’ll call her Little Girl Blue.
After another bad day, a simple, whimsical idea struck me. I haven’t begun painting it yet, but just the process of drawing it out has been cathartic. After the muck my other painting became, this is a good sign. A much needed one.
Sometimes, all I’m capable of is weird art. It begins with a concept that’s more of a feeling than anything else. Then I attach color and shapes to that, and then I try to put it all on the canvas. I would tell you that I’m usually between 30-60% successful. I’ve never had a piece of art turn out exactly how I pictured. Sometimes I like it anyway, and sometimes I am seconds away from painting over it. Or both.
Right now it’s both.
I’ve been staring at this blinking cursor for at least ten minutes with no idea how to comment on my latest pieces:
They are called, “Pay Attention to Me” and “Butterfly Kisses.” I guess that is all.
I’m in it again
The small space that fear built
With a broken door to death
And a thousand little failures
My chemical heart can’t take it
Betrothed to dread and loathing
And loving only you
Oh my! I sat down and painted a picture! I had fun and even worked my way through a big mistake without panicking or getting discouraged. Thank you medication adjustment!
So I tried to break myself out of the creative prison of my last failed painting, and ended up with something weird and ugly. In letting out my feelings onto canvas, I suppose that was a success. But it’s nothing pleasant that I would hang or ask anyone to buy. I paper mached the canvas in some misguided effort to create texture, and then started to paint a bird caught in a dreamcatcher before the painting suddenly decided it wanted to be an abstract. I tried to follow the instinct and ended up wrist deep in this:
It actually wouldn’t be so weird if not for the paper mache…?
No. It’d still be weird.
Afterward I made Rolo Chocolate Chip Blondies — the obvious choice for an evening of pouting. (After an impromptu run to the store in our pajamas — thank you, baby! <3)